Google has acquired Angstro, building on the search engine's Zynga investment and acquisitions of Slide and Jambool. Rohit Kohare and Salim Ismail add social firepower to battle Facebook.
Google's social networking shopping spree continued with the purchase of
two-man startup Angstro Aug. 26, the company confirmed.
Angstro makes technology that helps "unlock the power of your social
graph," which is industry parlance for adding social content such as
Facebook photos, LinkedIn profiles, Twitter tweets and other social services to
other Web services.
Angstro was founded and run by Rohit Kohare and Salim Ismail. Kohare
announced his move to Google along with Ismail in a brief blog post.
Google declined to discuss what roles Kohare and Ismail will assume at the
company or whether or not their products will live on.
However, Kohare in his blog post alluded to the looming fight between
Google, which is racking up social networking components, and leading social
"While our work here may be done, the struggle for open, interoperable
social networks is still only just beginning, and I'm looking forward to working
on that in my new role at Google," Kohare wrote
"Struggle" is the operative word. Facebook has more than 500
million users and is proven as much a utility as a social tool for connecting
people with family, friends, colleagues and brands as Google has proven to be a
utility for search.
However, where Facebook is largely protective of what content leaves its
network, Kohare and Ismail are dedicated to making social content accessible
anywhere. Kohare penned a blog post
about this very issue for TechCrunch in May.
Angstro's Knxt.to pairs
social network profile content with voice calls on Ribbit for Mobile,
enriching the VOIP app's caller ID technology. Knxt.to provides a similar
service for MySpace, aggregating profile info from other Websites.
Another Angstro service called Noteworthy News
crawls the Web pipes news about a user's friends
from Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn to their computer.
That Google has purchased an open integrator of social services-and hired
open advocates such as Joseph Smarr and Chris Messina-underscores its strategy.
Angstro is just another ingredient in the social network called Google Me
, which the company is moving at high speed
In the last few months, Google has been stockpiling companies, technologies
and top industry talent to wage a not-so-secret war against Facebook, whose
functionality and developer platform are robust.
$100 million in Zynga and partnered with the company
for social games; acquired
Slide for $228 million; and bought
virtual currency provider Jambool.